M&T Jazz Fest Presents: Lake Street Dive

Lake Street Dive is an indie jazz and soul band founded in 2004 in Boston.

The band consists of Rachael Price (lead vocals), Mike “McDuck” Olson (trumpet, guitar), Bridget Kearney (upright bass), and Mike Calabrese (drums). They met while attending the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Named after a street with many dive bars in Olson’s hometown of Minneapolis, the band tours extensively in both North America and Europe from their base in Brooklyn.

In 2005, the band played a song written by Bridget Kearney which was submitted to the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. As a result, Kearney won the 2005 Jazz category. With the cash and 1000 CDs award, Lake Street Dive recorded their debut CD in 2006, in this episode.... They did another self release called Promises, Promises and a video filmed live at the Lizard Lounge in 2010. They later signed with Signature Sounds Recordings, who first released Lake Street Dive in 2011.

By 2012 the four-piece band decided to make a strong commitment as a group and to touring. Bassist Bridget Kearney left another band to concentrate on Lake Street Dive and they went to the studio to record an album and some singles in November 2012. In 2013 they played over 150 gigs in more than 120 different cities, spread between 32 states and 8 countries. “We love all the same songs...We sing along in the car” is the opening line from the only song they co-wrote together and tells something of their life on tour.

In December 2013, T Bone Burnett asked them to perform on the Another Day, Another Time show at The Town Hall (New York City), which featured music from and inspired by the Coen Brothers’ film Inside Llewyn Davis.

Their Bad Self Portraits tour sold out in 40 venues at the start of 2014. Additionally, the release of the album landed the band gigs on a number of popular daytime and late night U.S. talk television shows including The Late Show with David Letterman, Conan and The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Colbert Report.

All the band members were singing and/or playing musical instruments by the time they were in 3rd grade. Most had some classical music training growing up and their parents were musicians. Each member in their own way had migrated to jazz when they met. However, the band says they were also influenced by the music their parents were playing at home, which ranged from classic Jazz to ‘60s Soul to Rock and Roll.

All profess to love the entire Beatles discography. Kearney wrote “Hello? Goodbye!” and the band plays “Don’t Make Me Hold Your Hand”, whimsical references to Beatles tunes. Olsen says he was inspired by McCartney’s love/vice lyrical concept in “Got to Get You Into My Life” when he wrote “You Go Down Smooth”.

Sometimes the band will describe their music as Pop-y, or perhaps Swing-ish, with a touch of Jazz. “We want it to sound like the Beatles and Motown had a party together,” says drummer Mike Calabrese. Music reviewers describe their music as “Sounds Like: Llewyn Davis’s favorite pop group; Motown meets the Brill Building in jazzy, soulful, woulda-been Sixties chart toppers.”

Lake Street Dive will be making its much-anticipated M&T Syracuse Jazz Fest debut at OCC at 7:45 pm on Saturday, July 18th.


Posted On: July 15, 2015
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